The multi floral forest honey is collected from the combs of Apis dorsata (Giant Rock Bee) nesting in the rock shelves and tall trees of the Nilgiris. The Coonoor and Kotagiri slopes have been continuously harvested by the Kurumba/Irula Honey Hunters who still follow their ancestral domains to harvest within the boundaries defined centuries ago. The honey is of the finest quality and the harvest methods are sustainable. Bitter Honey from the Syzigium flowers is special to this area. The tradition of honey hunting among the communities reflects their deep indigenous knowledge and unmatched agility in harvesting the dangerous giant rock bee combs.
The Kotagiri and Coonoor slopes of the Nilgiris is the major source of the honey. The Kurumba and the Irula honey hunters are the stewards of this forest produce.
The honey flow starts during March and continue till June. The quantities depend on the raining and flowering pattern with a high volume of about 9000 kilograms to as low as 1000 kilograms in a year. The high fluctuation in the volume and adverse changes in the climate is threatening this traditional activity of the indigenous communities.
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